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italian pasta salad on pink plate with gold salad server

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 25m
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


This incredibly easy Italian pasta salad is loaded with salami, tomatoes, red onion, fresh mozzarella, olives, herbs, and pepperoncini- right along with classic rotini pasta. Paired with a dreamy homemade Italian dressing to complete this tasty side item.



For the pasta salad

  • 1lb dried rotini pasta, (penne, bowtie, and cavatappi pasta also work!)
  • 1/2 lb salami, sliced into pieces
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives (or your fave green/black olives!)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese pearls (mini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • freshly chopped basil, for garnish- optional

For the Italian dressing

  • 3/4 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, or parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Prep the dressing: I like to prep the Italian dressing first so it’s ready to go after cooking the pasta. To do this: combine all of the dressing ingredients into a jar, cover, and shake super vigorously to fully combine. Alternatively, you can pulse together using an immersion blender, too. And then set the dressing aside while you move on to the next steps.
  2. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to your package directions, al dente. Drain the pasta and then run under cold water to cool- making sure the pasta is full drained. Add the cool pasta into a large bowl.
  3. Add the salami, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella pearls, onion, and pepperoncini into the same bowl. Then drizzle the Italian dressing over the pasta. Use tongs to toss the salad together, taste the pasta salad and adjust the seasonings to your preference by adding more salt, if desired.
  4. I recommend covering the bowl with a lid/plastic wrap and then placing the pasta salad into the fridge for at least 1 hour. This allows for the flavors to mingle and settle against each other for a deeper flavor. Before serving, toss the pasta salad together, serve as desired, and enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
  2. Storing: this pasta salad will keep stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  3. Feel free to customize this Italian pasta salad recipe to your hearts content by adding/swapping other proteins, veggies, cheeses, peppers, etc.